Monday, February 10, 2014

Back From Boston

The picture that got a ton of "likes" (and a few smart ass comments). Me, Lisa, Saturday at Maggiano's in Boston.
I was in the great city known as The Hub from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon for something called NENPA.
To be clear: it's the New England Newspaper and Press Association. They hold an annual convention in Boston - hardly the biggest I've ever been to, but fun and sufficient nonetheless. We met people from across New England, and mostly hung out among ourselves. I came home with pens and pads and free stuff (love swag!) and got to take Lisa with me.

Showing her off, and letting her know how truly awesome she is, makes me smile. Now if she'd only accept that.

There was, of course, a rubber chicken dinner in which many awards* - stretching out over hours - were given out. The MC seemed like a nice man with a fair sense of humor.

Many spent the night looking at their phones. Me included.
I know...awful. The best I could do was this godawful selfie of us. Shameful, and I knew it.
*Incidentally, I had no illusion about winning any awards. Plus, I'm not big on them. Would I like to win one? Sure. Does it make my career? Nah. Besides all of that, I have a few awards in my possession that mean the world to me. And I have people who love me?

But there's more. I wasn't a good reporter at the Wilton Bulletin, and I suppose hearing others say that saddens me. I think my writing was, generally, fine, and I could put together a pretty good feature story. But breaking down the ins and outs of the budget or the air quality at one of the schools?

No. Just not me.

Still, I think I'm more than capable of writing some sports stuff.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that, as I sit here, writing less and talking more, I have a slight tinge of regret. Or something.

Another reason I don't like awards is that, while I don't get angry when I lose, I get annoyed when my friends don't win. Now, they've been nominated, which is to say that they're in the top 99% of their category. But I wanted them to get the effing recognition that they deserve.

Paul Silverfarb. Tim Murphy. Ken Borsuk. These were just a few of the phenomenal writers who got a second or third place finish, and that's nothing to scoff at.

But it annoyed me, as I watched another publication win. Again. And again. And again.

I won't be smarmy here. But I'm just saying.

I greatly enjoyed meeting the people, led by Tom Shattuck, from Boston Herald Radio. I certainly don't consider them to be competition, and I like seeing radio thrive. Tom, with George Capalbo and Paul Kamp from Backbone Networks, shared lots of information with us about their operations.

You're going to see Hersam Acorn Radio, aka HAN Radio, taking off very soon.

I was reminded, again, why Boston is such a great city. Great food (North 26 aside, where $60 gets you a breakfast that was indescribably frustrating), great people, great atmosphere, great old ballpark (team aside). The shopping is great, and so on.

I have friends who have never been. My advice is simple: go.

Even the drive wasn't that bad. We hit not traffic Thursday night, and roared back yesterday afternoon. I know there are plenty of other times where that is simply not the case.

As for the hotel, the Boston Park Plaza, it has a lot of character. We were comfortable in our upgraded room with two double beds and TWO bathrooms.
What's not to love? The hotel room had a Keurig!
Plus we were able to broadcast from the suite in the hotel. So we had that.

It wasn't a weekend without stress. It wasn't perfect, and I can't tell you that there weren't a few moments where my head was lit up like the Citgo sign. But I was with great friends and colleagues. Overall, take the negatives out and it was something I look forward to again.
The lovely and super cool Beth Silverfarb had not arrived yet. So filling in for Mrs. Silverfarb, was John Kovach, at left. Kathy Kovach didn't seem to mind.

Paul Silverfarb was kind enough to give me Bazooka Joe - in Hebrew, no less!

Thanks to Lisa for buying me this incredibly cool Anchorman glass. This will be my glass case of emotion!

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